THE PAINTED HALL
WHAT? THE PAINTED HALL, GREENWICH
WHERE? The Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NN
WHEN? Now, fully open after a restoration project
WHY GO? To marvel at what is fondly dubbed London’s ‘Sistine Chapel’ fully restored to all its former glory after a two-year conservation project and it is truly magnificent. It is the largest painted interior in Europe.
The last restoration was in the Fifties, so there were major obstacles to overcome. The opulent ceiling by Sir James Thornhill took 19 years to complete and is a masterpiece of English baroque art portraying a powerful mix of the great and good. For this, Thornhill was paid £1 per square yard for painting the walls and £3 per square yard for the ceiling!
IN THE KNOW? The Painted Hall is the centrepiece of The Old Royal Naval College. Arrive by riverboat to see Sir Christopher Wren’s riverside gem - it is steeped in history and a World Heritage Site. Henry VIII was born at Greenwich along with his daughters Mary 1 and Elizabeth 1 - you can’t get more Royal than that!